The most recent launch of an Argie 15 was by amateur builder Ilia Bogdanov, who lives in Khadarovsk in Far Eastern Russia, 760km north of Vladivostok. Ilia is a cardiovascular surgeon in his day-time job and built his Argie 15 in his spare time. Compared with the very delicate and intricate work of repairing a patient's heart, building a wooden boat must be a big change of scale.
Ilia has built a good boat of nice quality, in sometimes unpleasant conditions, certainly far from optimal. Seeing what Ilia has accomplished, with the help of a friend, should be an inspiration to boatbuilders in other faraway places, where finding suitable materials and build location can be a major challenge. It shows how fortunate we are if we are able to build our boats in a moderate climate or a heated/cooled/dry workshop and with a wide choice available to us of plywoods, epoxies, hardware etc to craft into a beautiful and safe vessel.
I see criticism sometimes of materials and methods used by builders in other countries but those resourceful builders have to hunt out the best materials that they can find to go into their boats. Those materials may not be as workable or as aesthetically pleasing as what more fortunate builders may choose but they are available and they do what is needed by the builder.
I will let Ilia's photos and my captions tell the story of his build, an achievement of which he can be proud.
|Ilia's workshop was his garage, 2nd from left. It has water in it when the snow melts or when it rains.|
|Ilia started with a kit, bought from Peter Tatarinov, our Russian kit supplier in Irkutsk, Siberia. The water on the slab is snow melt.|
|Ilia unpacking his Argie 15 kit.|
|Hull completed, seat framing going in.|
|Scuppered gunwales with a difference, the slots are on the outside rather than the inside.|
|Ilia filled the side seat compartments with foam flotation.|
|Home-made access covers using the details on the drawings.|
|Ilia and his children ready to use their new Argie 15.|